Earlier this year, I was contacted by SkillForce to create a very unique piece of artwork...
SkillForce is a national education charity whose aim is to empower children and young people, helping them to build character, confidence and resilience, though an innovative awards programme.
The latest addition to this programme, is the newly-created Prince William Award – a first of its kind, and as the name suggests, it is backed by HRH The Duke of Cambridge KG KT, which was launched on 1st March 2017, at a special event in Wales.
In the few weeks leading up to this, I had been busy creating a piece of original artwork that would be presented as a gift to HRH on the day.
After initial discussions, my proposed concept was a simple one - featuring the Duke and Duchess with their children, gazing up at a fleet of Air Ambulance helicopters, each towing PWA banners, that would feature the various titles under the award – Pioneer, Explorer and Trailblazer – the latter would also inspire the name of the final painting.
The first stage was a simple B&W concept sketch:
I wanted the artwork to reflect the ambition and optimism of the Award, at the same time as looking distinctly British and of course, capturing a likeness of the Royal Family. No pressure, then!
The PWA logos were being developed separately by a creative agency, so I had to make sure there would be sufficient scope to integrate them seamlessly in the final artwork.
And finally - the finished piece, presented on the day! A genuine honour, and a piece I'm very proud of, especially given that it is outside of my usual science fiction comfort zone!